“The House will stand
Which art in Heaven…”
“We will choose…who will come …and how they come here…,”
Not ‘Them and us’
Not the larger world
Not the broader view
Not international norms and conventions
Not the doubter, the liberal or the questioner
Not our artists or poets,
Or the great people of our continental story
And who are ‘We’?
We are the lucky within us
You and me as the corner person who’s gets on
Stabbing more backs
Winning ‘til others lose
Turning complex to simple
With one-liners that make realities obscure
Hiding what we fear
With sound bites to play and replay and replay
Until the obscene becomes the norm
And we’ve built the New Australia
Along with you;
Our New Jesus.
Scrubbed up, gift wrapped, palatable, conventional
Tame and unconfronting
Urbane and unembarrassing
Our nicely spoken middle class New Jesus.
Happy happy clappy
Chanting as we go.
Hallowed be thy name
We’ll stick with you New Jesus – it pays
Trading half a knee for half a truth
You wouldn’t say
“When you do this to the least of one of these your brethren you do it to me”
You know that that Samaritan fellow was naïve,
And quite out of touch with the market.
But New Jesus you care - just for ‘we’
We who happen to have inherited the luck.
Lucky like no other time on earth
Like no other people on earth.
And we’ll keep it this way.
“We will choose…”.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done.
We who have built on the graves of those who built for us
Who themselves created graves
In ways we now choose to forget
Kinder people then?
At least they gave us space
We from other lands
Escapees all – with our own deep secrets
In need of this land in which to try again.
Bullied, ribbed, laughed at and called all sorts
But accepted as different; not enemy
As wogs and poms and slopes; not aliens
As finding a future; not dodging a queue
Required to prove our worth from effort; not gaol
But kids who lived with kids; not wire
Who could roam and run and explore -
And build the futures of their dreams.
Families together with hope
Love that most could see
Bossed but not lost
Given a chance not a number
Protected not guarded
Confined only by our own resolve and imagination
Until we inherited
And the quiet shrug of the shoulder.
Then very slowly the pride in an egalitarian ideal
And with it our universal greeting ‘g’day’.
That was our luck New Jesus
Now we demand more.
Keep it coming.
Give us this day our daily bread.
When did we become we?
“We will choose…”
The all new we in our all New Australia
Basking in sunshine like there’s no cancer
Using up not taking care
Buying up not sharing out
Owning, not being
Assuaging guilt with fists full of gold
Adapting all to our self proclaimed glory
Relaxed and comfortable.
While the rest go hang.
Blinded by self-righteousness
Incapable of “Sorry”
The unforgiving demanding forgiveness.
“We will choose…”.
We thank you New Jesus for the
Kingdom, the power and the glory……”
Until we choose something different
Is it too late?
Too late to…
Deliver us from evil..?
Can we possibly do this
“Through you Mr. Speaker…”?
Tony Richardson “was born in Britain within the sound of a mill hooter. He thought it was a nice sound. It was his Dad’s paper mill.
He worked in that industry around the world. This included a year as a production worker in a mill in Canada. The hooter became less appealing then.
In the late 60’s he worked with a big consulting company and became so disillusioned with workplaces he tried his hand at being a clergyman. But that was equally constricting.
During the 1970’s he set up a craft/farming community for people who knew they were at some critical change point in their lives. Maybe he set it up for himself. It fell over.
In 1980, needing food, he became a public servant. He advanced and found himself in a spot where everything he’d done before was useful. The Australian Government wanted to help enterprises become more enterprising. He became a key initiator in this work.
After some years in this and a couple as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University he discovered he’d turned into a consultant.
He works in communities and organisations that are trying to improve their whole system. He operates out of a belief that where leaders are committed to this, are prepared to involve everybody and don’t need to control and know everything, the capacity of people to improve the quality and output of their workplace is ‘damned near infinite’.
Unless they make mill hooters.
Some of his present and recent clients include:
Bendix Mintex, BTR Engineering, RMIT, Southern Cross & Australian National Universities, Zurich Insurance Switzerland, UK and Australia, Colgate Palmolive, Department of Defence, Cerebos, World Health Organisation SE Asia, Kodak, BOC, Tasmanian Paper, Melbourne Water, Optus, Southcorp, TAFE NSW centrally and 5 Institutes of TAFE, 10 Local Government bodies, Kiwi Brands, ANZ, Wyeth, Westpac, CSR, St George Bank, Eagle Star (UK), The Leadership Forum, Douwe Egberts, Stanilite, Mid Central Health NZ., The Premier of Tasmania, University Hospital Birmingham Trust UK, Linfox, Flexirent, AMP Australia and UK, ANZ bank, NAB, Mattel Australia, Europe and Asia, the Health Department nationally and in every state and territiory, Australian Bulk Minerals, North Ltd., Hydro Aluminium Norway.
In 1990 Tony contributed to Marvin Weisbord’s book Discovering Common Ground. With Jock Macneish he published The Choice, Either Change the System or Polish the Fruit (1993) and The Next Choice, Controls or Connections (1995), Imagine Your Workplace - Images of Dreams and Nightmares (1996) and with Angela Lane they published Team’s - the First Twelve Weeks (1996). In 2001 with Bob Campbell and Lynda Jones he wrote Search - A Handbook about Change for Community Leaders. The European Foundation for Management Development used the titles, images and themes from the first two books in their 1996 International Conference and Tony was a keynote speaker. He has had a similar role in Canada and in several national conferences in Australia.